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Today’s News - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

•   Dvir delves into the controversy swirling around the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design's decision to go with a starchitecture firm instead of homegrown talent to design its new campus in the heart of Jerusalem.

•   Taylor looks into the boom in large-scale cultural facility projects that "get bigger and bigger beyond reason," and tend to "favor civic symbolism and iconic design over operating health," and are "subject to the whims and coercions of the experts" (like architects) who "swing into town to make them real."

•   The new Auckland Art Gallery "is a grand design," but "some of the restoration comes with compromise."

•   Iovine finds Obama's jobs speech may have been "music to the ears, but for architects the music is still playing in another room"; could it be he thinks that the public is wary of "capital-A architecture?" (two NYC projects "could easily fuel that impression").

•   A report from a Harvard GSD conference re: making the case for sustainable streets: "Rather than dismiss the naysayers as unenlightened, city officials and design and planning professionals would do better to more carefully listen to and respect their concerns."

•   ASLA amasses more than 475 green infrastructure case studies that demonstrate to policymakers the value of creating and investing in green infrastructure policies.

•   Seattle x 2: Parklets are a great idea to steal from San Francisco as a simple and "easy way to make some great community spaces without a lot of drama."

•   Hinshaw explains how Seattle "is killing retail by requiring too much of it": it's "time to open up the street fronts to creativity, whimsy, and home-grown funkiness."

•   Australia is making a serious reach for the "holy grail of green buildings" with a 6-star rating - watch for the "green ratings war" to "become even fiercer."

•   Hawthorne hails the new West Hollywood Library: "it is tough to think of many civic projects that can match its upbeat, gregarious appeal" that "managed to navigate the punishing public-sector construction process without sacrificing its ambition or design personality."

•   Wonderful as it may be, part of the cost of the new library could be the loss of Edward Fickett's original library to make room for a park.

•   Tischler sits down with Safdie to "discuss the challenges of designing a would-be icon of peace in a time of war."

•   Kamin on Gehry's Winton Guest House almost ready for its close-up at its new home on a university campus.

•   Ten women in architecture comment on being a woman architect.

•   Thomas Leslie is first Pickard Chilton Professor at Iowa State College of Design.

•   An accessible tree house builder wins the 2011 Paralyzed Veterans' Barrier-Free America Award (how cool is that?!!?).


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